Ippon

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Nakasone Tokashiki Karamidi 1
Nakasone Seyu demonstrating Karamdi on a young Tokashiki Iken
I’d like to relate two stories that were told to me. The first was from Kinjo Yoshitaka sensei and was about Nakasone Seiyu, and the second is from Kanzaki Shigekazu sensei about Kyoda Juhatsu. These two stories stress the importance of ippon kumite.

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Nakasone Seyu
The founder of Gohakuaki, Tokashiki Iken, began his training with Nakasone Seiyu. At an enbutaikai, a very young Tokashiki was to demonstrate techniques with his teacher. Perhaps a little unsure of himself, Tokashiki suggested that they should practice their yakusoku kumite before they went on. Nakasone Sensei was angered and replied that he did not did to practice and that he should worry about his own technique. Tokashiki’s pride was wounded and to get back at his teacher he decided to alter the yakusoku kumite. When it came time for their demonstration Tokashiki switched from a punching attack to a kick. No sooner had he done this that Nakasone had side stepped, struck Tokashiki and thrown him. Tokashiki fell awkwardly, hitting a wall and breaking his collar bone. After the demonstration, he said nothing to his teacher, but excused himself to have his collar bone looked after.
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Kyoda Juhatsu

Kyoda sensei taught Kanzaki and his youngest son Juko out of their garden in Beppu city located in Oita prefecture. Rain or shine they would practice outdoors. Kanzaki was trying to perform a technique, but it was obvious that he wasn’t doing it as his teacher wanted. Kyoda sensei then stood up and faced a young Kanzaki and told him to throw a punch. Mishearing his teacher, Kanzaki threw a kick instead, but instead of connecting he found himself flat on his back with Kyoda standing above him. Kyoda sensei apologized and asked if Kanzaki was all right, to which he replied, “yes”. Kanzaki returned to his practice and Kyoda took his seat and continued watching. To this day, Kanzaki was utterly shocked at how quickly he was thrown to the ground.

I think these stories tell a lot about both men’s character, their generation, and their training. Kyoda and Nakasone were roughly the same age (Kyoda born in 1887 and Nakasone in 1890) and would have been in their late 60’s when these events took place. Yet both were capable of reacting quickly to unexpected attacks from their younger students. It seems that their training had been  thorough enough that their responses had become second-nature. Swift and to the point, they allowed their opponent no chance to counter attack. In other words, their methods expressed the ideals of ippon kumite / ikken hisatsu; limiting their opponent to one attack and finishing him off in a single encounter.